You Be The Judge

Date: April 16, 2008
Posted In: DLP Law


Ricky and Lucy finally got a chance to take their dream vacation to Disney World with their two children. They had gotten a great deal, so they thought, over an Internet website with a bargain basement rate for their four-star hotel.

Upon arriving at the hotel in their rental vehicle, they were advised that the vehicle had to be parked by a bellboy. After check-in, a bellboy accompanied them with their bags to their rooms. It didn\’t take long for Ricky and Lucy to realize that the part of the hotel where they were staying was under renovation. The sound of hammering and drills could be heard from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. When the couple asked that their room be changed, it was stated that that could be done, but there would be an increase of almost $80 a day. Since that was beyond their budget, they had no choice but to put up with the noisy rooms.

In both Ricky and Lucy\’s room and the children\’s room, there was a small refrigerator filled with snacks and drinks. The family also would dine at the hotel\’s restaurants and Ricky always left a nice tip.

Despite the noise, the family had a nice vacation and on the morning that they were to fly back to Pennsylvania, Ricky checked out. When he got his bill, he noticed that included in the bill was a resort fee of $15 a day and an additional 18% gratuity fee, a fee of $15 every time the bellboy retrieved their car from the parking lot or parked their car once they arrived back at the hotel, charges of almost $80 for the snacks used from the refrigerators that were in their rooms and, finally, to add insult to injury, a $20 a day fee marked as “hospitality fee.” When Ricky added up the fees, it became obvious that his hotel was no bargain.

What can Ricky do?

Any fees that were not disclosed to Ricky at the time of check-in are subject to dispute. If the hotel refuses to remove the charges, Ricky has a right to call his credit card company and challenge the same. Under federal credit laws, if you are charged for goods and services that you don\’t receive, the card company will issue a temporary credit and investigate. While Ricky may well be stuck for any bills for the overpriced snacks, he may well have grounds to resist the charges for the extra gratuity fees and charges for services that he had a right to presume were being provided to him free by the hotel. The hotel was obligated to make it clear before rendering services that Ricky would be charged if he accepted those services.

Joe Price
Attorney Joe Price is a seasoned Trial Lawyer serving Northeast, Central and Southeast Pennsylvania for the past forty (40) years. He has handled serious personal injury cases in courts throughout the Federal system including New Jersey and New York. Attorney Price is A.V. Rated by Martindale Hubble. He is Board Certified in Civil Practice by the National Board of Trial Advocacy since 1996.